From 29 September to 1 October 2015, a team of legal experts from UNLIREC traveled to Santo Domingo to hold a legal drafting session on UNSCR 1540 implementation with counterparts from the Dominican Republic. UNLIREC’s technical experts were accompanied by a former member of the Group of Experts of the 1540 Committee who lent support to Dominican Republic delegates from the ministries of mines and energy, defense and the customs office to draft a law prohibiting non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring, using and financing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their means of delivery. The sessions also included dialogue on the establishment of adequate trade control measures for related material, as well as the adoption of effective physical accounting and protection measures for the production, use, storage and transportation of such material.

This draft bill, which is supported by several ministries and by the Office of the President, will be presented to the national parliament prior to the end of October. While the draft text is under revision, UNLIREC and the technical experts from the Dominican Republic will continue working on subsidiary legislation and additional regulations to develop certain aspects of the law, particularly those relating to the adoption of control lists, licensing and end user controls.

This draft law constitutes a significant step forward in the country’s efforts to strengthen implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), and will provide the Dominican Republic with a solid legal basis for adopting trade controls and measures to counter the proliferation of WMDSs. The creation of a national authority, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the law and authorizing the transfer of ‘proliferation-sensitive’ materials, is also envisioned in the country.

Moreover, during the visit, UNLIREC and an ad hoc committee made up of several institutions responsible for discussing and coordinating 1540-related matters, finalized the draft of the country’s voluntary national action plan. The government has indicated its intention to formally submit this plan to the 1540 Committee through the appropriate diplomatic channels. The adoption of this plan represents a substantial step towards effective implementation of the resolution, and will enable the country to establish concrete objectives, indicate its main training and technical assistance necessities to the international community, and reaffirm its commitment towards preventing WMD proliferation.

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